The Dollarway School Board will meet with an Arkansas Department of Education official on Tuesday to receive training on budgetary matters and training aimed to prevent the district from sliding into fiscal distress.

The Dollarway School Board will meet with an Arkansas Department of Education official on Tuesday to receive training on budgetary matters and training aimed to prevent the district from sliding into fiscal distress.


The district has a board of directors for the first time in more than two years. In June 2012 the Arkansas Department of Education seized control of Dollarway because of violations from a scholastic audit. The district was on probation in 2010-11 because a teacher who taught out of the teacher’s area of licensure and in 2011-12 because of irregularities with students’ transcripts.


Dollarway Superintendent Bobby Acklin said he looks forward to the training from Arkansas Department of Education Division of Fiscal & Administrative Services Fiscal Distress Services coordinator Hazel Burnett. She will make sure the board understands budgets and recognizes signs related to fiscal distress, he said. Dollarway is on the fiscal distress watch list, he said.


"This meeting is a precautionary measure for any district that has come out of state takeover or fiscal takeover," Acklin said.


The factors that signal a move toward fiscal distress are declining enrollment, declining revenue and spending reserve money, Acklin said, adding he does not know of anything that would put the district in danger of fiscal distress at this time.


Dollarway enrolls about 1,300 students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Dollarway employs 107 certified employees or people with licenses such as teachers; and 127 classified employees such as secretaries, paraprofessionals and custodians.


"We analyze every vacant position. We have not increased our teacher count over last year," Acklin said. "We are trying to maintain it."


Arkansas Department of Education Assistant Commissioner for Fiscal and Administrative Services Eric Saunders said that Burnett will teach the board to read financial reports, understand fiscal distress, understand state aid notices and understand where schools get their funding. He said that she will also train the board to meet laws.


The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dollarway School District administrative office at 4900 Dollarway Road.